President Trump on Thursday trumpeted the success of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, telling an audience in the White House Rose Garden that the recent reforms have allowed workers to pocket more money.
“Married couples won’t pay a dime of income tax on their first $24,000 of income,” Trump said. “A typical family of four earning $75,000 a year will see their tax bill slashed in half. Nobody thought they'd ever see that -- have a lot more money to spend.”
Trump’s speech came amid surging optimism among American manufacturers thanks to the after-effects of the GOP’s recently-implemented tax reform law. More than 93% of manufacturers have a positive outlook on their company’s prospects in the U.S. economy – the second-highest level ever recorded by the National Association of Manufacturers – its most recent quarterly survey revealed.
Meanwhile, optimism among small manufacturers was at its highest level ever recorded throughout the survey’s 20 year history; 94.5% of companies reported that they were positive about their future.
Wage growth among those manufacturers surveyed also rose at the fastest pace in 17 years. Despite a strengthening labor market, wage growth has remained sluggish in the overall U.S. economy as productivity growth stagnates. However, the Trump administration is hopeful that an uptick in investment in the U.S. economy will begin to reverse those trends, a sentiment echoed by NAM president Jay Timmons.
“Empowered by tax reform and regulatory relief, manufacturers are now investing in our people through new jobs, higher wages, bonuses and growing our operations right here in the United States,” Timmons said in a statement.
The survey showed that manufacturers expected full-time employment to increase by 2.9% on average over the next year, an all-time high by the survey’s standards. Companies also said capital investments are likely to rise by 3.9% over the next 12 months, while inventories are expected to rise by 1.7%.
Among the items manufacturers are hoping to see moving forward in order to continue boosting optimism in the sector are the implementation of the $1.5 trillion infrastructure revamp, continued deregulation and increased opportunity to sell products overseas.
The top concern for companies was the ability to attract and maintain qualified workers.